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Guitarist Jason Hale Leaves Chiodos

Michigan rock act Chiodos have been riding a wave of publicity from their recent reunion with a series of Fall performances for their ever-present fans. It had been rumored for some time that the band would soon hit the studio, which lead most of us to assume the members were back for good, but news out of the band’s camp today tells a different story.

Taking to Twitter over the holiday, guitarist Jason Hale announced that he would no longer be working with Chiodos. His announcement, which can be viewed below, is short and sweet with no signs of resentment for his fellow bandmates. We wish Jason the best of luck in the future and will update you as soon as a replacement has been announced.

Like Chiodos? Check out rising OS act Jonas Sees In Color!

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Scenesters Channel Their Inner Divas On ‘Punk Goes Pop 5′

Scenesters Channel Their Inner Divas On ‘Punk Goes Pop 5′

It’s that time of the year again: when people take words that others have said and twist them around to fit their own individual message. And no, we don’t mean election season; it’s time for another volume of Punk Goes Pop! In the fifth installment of the popular decade-old Fearless Records compilation, we get a mix of tunes from ’80s classics to contemporary chart-toppers. Here are five of our favorites from the upcoming November 6 release. Continue reading ‘Scenesters Channel Their Inner Divas On ‘Punk Goes Pop 5′’

“Watch This!” Wednesday: No Doubt, Craig Owens, And Green Day

We love passing new music videos around the OurStage office, and now we’re going to be sharing our finds with you. Here’s this week’s freshest new clips!

No Doubt – “Push And Shove”

Gwen and ND are back, and the title track of Push And Shove proves that they haven’t lost their spark. In this clip, the band roam the streets and host tour-bus singalongs of their own song. It’s easy to tell that the band is simply happy to be together again.

Craig Owens – “No More San Francisco”

If you’ve been following Chiodos/Cinematic Sunrise/Isles & Glaciers/D.R.U.G.S. and/or Craig Owens’ solo career for the past few years, then this video is for you. Though Owens is known for his electric stage presence, he shows his softer side on “No More San Francisco,” baring his soul with an empty room and an acoustic guitar. Continue reading ‘“Watch This!” Wednesday: No Doubt, Craig Owens, And Green Day’

Rock ‘n’ Roll Call: 2011′s Most Anticipated Rock Albums

Last week, we covered ten of our favorite rock albums for 2010, which included records from My Chemical Romance, VersaEmerge, Foxy Shazam and more.

With new records from Lady Gaga, Britney Spears, Kanye West, Coldplay and Beyoncé scheduled to drop, 2011 is already shaping up to be a big year for music.  This week, we’re taking a look at ten of the most anticipated rock releases, which stretch across subgenres from hardcore to electronica to indie rock.

Andrew McMahon of Jack's Mannequin

Jack’s Mannequin – TBA

After 2008′s heartfelt release The Glass Passenger, Jack’s Mannequin frontman Andrew McMahon is ready to release new material. Passenger, which chronicled McMahon’s battle with leukemia, was a darker record then sunny debut Everything in Transit. But going on what we’ve heard so far, the new release will be yet another masterpiece, with plenty of well-executed piano-drenched pop rock.

Death Cab for Cutie – Codes and Keys (Spring)

Indie rock kings Death Cab for Cutie will be releasing their seventh album early next year. Frontman Ben Gibbard promises that this record will be “less guitar-centric” than any of Death Cab’s previous records, which have typically been of slower, chord-based song structure. Lyrically, bassist Nick Harmer insists that this album will have a much broader emotional scope than 2008′s Narrow Stairs.

Pete Wentz and Bebe Rexha of Black Cards

Black Cards – TBA

After the band announced their hiatus, Fall Out Boy‘s Pete Wentz decided to keep doing what he does best—make undeniably catchy pop music. Teaming up with then-unknown vocalist Bebe Rexha, Saves the Day drummer Spencer Peterson and The Receiving End of Sirens guitarist Nate Patterson, Wentz created Black Cards. The group’s music (especially Rexha’s vibrato-soaked vocals) is reminscent of early No Doubt, with an influx of dance-worthy electronic beats.

Taking Back Sunday – TBA (Spring)

Taking Back Sunday‘s lineup has changed so many times that their Wikipedia page has a full chart to help fans understand the eleven-year timeline of the group’s career. After a few missteps with new members—even frontman Adam Lazzara apologized for 2009′s New Again—the original lineup is back, making this one of the most anticipated releases for any fan of TBS’ genre-defining album, Tell All Your Friends. From the sounds of the demos that have already been posted, it looks like TBS is returning to their roots and ready to make a big comeback.

No Doubt – TBA

No Doubt

It’s amazing to think that ska-princess-turned-pop-superstar Gwen Stefani had any time in 2010 to return to the studio and make a brand new record with her band, No Doubt. Since the band’s humble beginnings in the late ’80s, Stefani has become a powerhouse solo artist, entrepreneur, fashion designer, wife and mother. But, somehow, she was able to make some time for writing music, and No Doubt’s comeback album is eagerly awaited by fans young and old. As of now, details have been pretty hush-hush about this release, but we’re betting that the new No Doubt will be bigger and better than ever.

Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows (D.R.U.G.S.) – February

After a full-year hiatus from the stage, charismatic ex-Chiodos frontman Craig Owens is back. Joined by members of Underminded, From First to Last, Story of the Year and Matchbook Romance, Owens has already made a huge splash on the modern rock scene with his new project, D.R.U.G.S. The band will be releasing their album in February, before they head out on Alternative Press’ AP Spring Tour 2011. From the sounds of the tracks already released, this post-hardcore supergroup is poised for a massive takeover.

fun.

fun. –  TBA (Summer)

As we learned in our Q&A with Nate Ruess of fun., the group is hard at work on their sophomore LP and are hoping to release it next summer. The band’s debut album, Aim and Ignite, was an exciting, refreshing and eclectic mix of everything from indie pop to showtunes. Fans are definitely on the edge of their seats, waiting to see what this band will do next.

Cobra Starship – TBA

Still riding high off the success of their latest record, Hot Mess, Cobra Starship have already begun recording their next album. Hot Mess spawned the 2009 smash “Good Girls Go Bad” and launched the band from the small-scale modern rock scene to rulers of Top 40 radio. Though no details have been released about the new album, Cobra’s history dictates that it will be chock-full of undeniably catchy, dance-worthy rock numbers.

The Mars Volta – TBA

Bixler-Zavala and Rodriguez-Lopez of The Mars Volta

GRAMMY-award winning experimental rock group The Mars Volta have kept pretty quiet about their upcoming release, which will be the sixth in the band’s career. The band entered pre-production back in May, and guitarist Omar Rodriguez-Lopez recently announced via Twitter that they were putting the finishing touches on the record. This will also be the first record where vocalist Cedric Bixler-Zavala will be writing all of his own lyrics, with no guidelines or concept provided by chief songwriter Lopez.

Emery – TBA (January/February)

Seattle-based rock group Emery delighted their fans when they returned to their roots on 2009′s …In Shallow Seas We Sail. Full of charging instrumentation, sweeping vocals and shimmering with top-notch production, the record left Emery fans satisfied, but also craving more. The band announced that they are planning to release the album in the early months of 2011, hopefully with some tour dates to follow!

What records are you most looking forward to hearing in 2011? Let us know in the comments!

Behind the Mic: The New Age of Album Promotion

Over recent years, we’ve seen major changes in the music industry. CDs are becoming digital downloads, MySpace profiles are being traded in for Twitter accounts and the number of artists available at your fingertips is growing exponentially everyday.

Because there are so many artists out there, it’s becoming tougher to stick out in the crowd and keep fans engaged. Artists have taken notice, and have ramped up their shows, music videos and album promotion.

Here are some examples of 2010′s best album promotion campaigns. From movies to puzzles to song leaks, take a tip from these rock bands and keep fans excited about your next big release!

My Chemical Romance

MCR's mysterious TV channel

When My Chemical Romance pick a theme for their record, they really commit to it. With the release of Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys, MCR  launched an extremely impressive promotional campaign, which fully immersed fans into the world of their record. It began with a cryptic Web site, which simply showed an antique television. The television knobs could be turned to show static or a video of a man wearing a fox suit wandering around in the desert. Some channels had noise in the background, including one that played a very static clip of the then-unreleased track “The Only Hope For Me Is You.” Over the next few weeks, more details about the album were revealed, along with a release date and rapid-fire leaks of four new tracks. When the music video for lead single “Na Na Na” was released, the fox costume mystery was solved—it had been vocalist Gerard Way all along. The band even went as far as to have a Web site set up for Better Living Industries, the fictional company that the Killjoys fight in the video, along with a series of YouTube clips (such as this) from BLI themselves.

D.R.U.G.S.

When post-hardcore poster boy Craig Owens was unceremoniously kicked out of his band Chiodos, he went straight to work. Unbeknownst to his fans, Owens began forming a supergroup and writing new music, not saying a word to anyone about what was going on. Rumors began to fly, especially when it was announced that Fall Out Boy/Black Cards member Pete Wentz was somehow involved in the project.

Craig Owens being interrogated in Part III of D.R.U.G.S' short film

Fans were anxious to learn more about this mystery band, and Owens made sure to keep them on the edge of their seats. He did this by announcing each band member one at a time through introductory YouTube videos. A few weeks after the last member was announced, he told his fans that the new band would be called Destroy Rebuild Until God Shows (D.R.U.G.S) and would be on Wentz’s label, Decaydance. The band, which consists of  members of Underminded, Matchbook Romance, From First to Last and Story of the Year, then released four parts of a film over the course of a few weeks. The fourth clip ends with the music video for D.R.U.G.S.’ first single, “If You Think This Song is About You, It Probably Is”. The full film is now available for free download on the band’s Web site.

Underoath

Underoath's 600 pre-order postcards came together to form their album cover

Christian metal band Underoath sent their fans on an online scavenger hunt in September, before the release of their album, Ø(disambiguation). Their official Web site became a blank puzzle board, and they encouraged fans to take a photo if they think they had a piece of the puzzle. The puzzle pieces were soon revealed to be postcards that were sent to 600 people who pre-ordered the album. Once all the pictures were uploaded, the puzzle showed the new album art. On September 21st, the band wrote on Twitter, “tracklist reveal using fb & twitter: titles will be posted one at a time, scrambled. 1st to unscramble wins shirt & unlocks next title.” Next, the band leaked a song in a very creative way—by posting different layers of instrumentation over the course of a few days, and the final product, “Illuminator” at the end.

What are some of the most creative ways you’ve seen an album promoted? Let us know in the comments!

Rock ‘n’ Roll Call: The Best Rock Albums of 2010

Pop artists like Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Ke$ha and Rihanna dominated the charts in 2010. For us rock fans, though, this year was equally huge. There were countless bands reuniting, going out on anniversary tours, playing massive festivals and releasing new material.

In no particular order, here are some of the best rock albums released this year!

My Chemical Romance – Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys

Those of us who are diehard My Chemical Romance fans were awaiting the band’s fifth studio album with nervous excitement and eager anticipation. We hoped it would live up to the all the hype, but we were also completely unsure of what style the band would try on this time around, as each release has been vastly different from the last. Luckily, MCR delivered a beautifully bright, energetic and well-produced record that shows a freshly polished sound that includes everything from punk to disco. Check out our full review of the record here!

Recommended track: “DESTROYA”

Pierce the Veil – Selfish Machines

San Diego post-hardcore group Pierce the Veil released their sophomore LP, Selfish Machines, back in June. In the first moments of opening track “Besitos,” this album grabs your attention with hand claps, guitar picking, layers of harmonizing vocals and a Latin-influenced beat. PTV ramped up everything on this release, from Vic Fuentes’ unmistakable tenor shrieking to heavy breakdowns and impressive guitar solos. But these rockers can pull off the ballads as well, with the slow number “Stay Away from My Friends” being one of the strongest tracks on the record.

Recommended track: “Caraphernelia” (feat. Jeremy McKinnon of A Day to Remember)

Automatic Loveletter – Truth or Dare

Charismatic singer-songwriter Juliet Simms of Automatic Loveletter has not been an overnight success story. As she recounts on the track “Story of My Life,” she moved from Florida to LA at fifteen after being offered a record deal from Epic. As the label struggled, Juliet wasn’t dropped, but wasn’t supported either. Armed with her DIY attitude, Simms sold handmade copies of her record and feather hair clips to help support her band out on tour. All the hard work paid off, and Simms became one of the most sought-after guest vocalists, having provided her instantly recognizable raspy pipes to albums from All Time Low, Secondhand Serenade, Cartel and more . On the band’s major label debut, Juliet’s simple acoustic songwriting is taken to new heights, with stadium-ready choruses and charging electric guitars mixed with soft, piano-based ballads.

Recommended track: “Let it Ride”

Envy On the Coast – Lowcountry

Long Island, NY natives Envy on the Coast released the impressive Lowcountry in March. With creative lyrics, daring and experimental musical choices and stellar vocals from frontman Ryan Hunter, this record stands out among its peers as having some of the most original songwriting of the year. Equal parts Incubus, Circa Survive and The Dear Hunter, Envy on the Coast unfortunately called it quits this year as well. Be on the lookout for Hunter’s and guitarist Brian Byrne’s  new project, North Korea, which also features Dilinger Escape Plan drummer Billy Ryan.

Recommended track: “The Great American T-Shirt Racket”

Chiodos – Illuminaudio

When post-hardcore outfit Chiodos kicked out founding member and frontman Craig Owens, many fans were outraged. With his dynamic voice and inspiring stage presence, Owens was not only the band’s most charismatic and well-known member, but also a staple in the modern rock scene. Thousands were sure that this decision was the nail in Chiodos’ coffin, but the release of Illuminaudio showed that this band could carry on, and release one hell of a record. New vocalist Brandon Bolmer not only matches Owens’ range, but he also shows a flair for the dramatic on his lyrics, which was one of Owens’ strongest facets. The band members stepped up their game as well, adding more technical parts to each instrument and keeping the orchestral touches that made 2007′s Bone Palace Ballet a masterpiece in its own right. The breakdowns are heavy, the instrumentation is tight, the vocals are spot-on, so it’s clear Chiodos aren’t going anywhere.

Recommended track: “Those Who Slay Together, Stay Together

VersaEmerge – Fixed at Zero

Due to the success of Paramore, there are now hundreds of identical young female-fronted pop bands trying to find their place in the spotlight. But make no mistake, that doesn’t include Tampa, Florida natives VersaEmerge. Fronted by the electrifying 20-year-old Sierra Kusterbeck, Versa take pop rock to a new level, adding in complex electronic arrangements (courtesy of guitarist Blake Harnage), tightly layered harmonies and wonderfully honest lyrics about Kusterbeck’s own inner conflicts. The band’s first LP, Fixed at Zero, was released this summer and has catapulted the band to buzzworthy status, aided by a full-episode on MTV’s The World of Jenks and placement on the entire 2010 Vans Warped Tour.

Recommended track: “Fixed at Zero”

The Deftones – Diamond Eyes

When The Deftones‘ bassist Chi Cheng was involved in a horrible car accident that left him in a coma, the band shelved their near-completed album, Eros. A year later, they decided to return to the studio (with Sergio Vega of Quicksand filling in for Chi) and wrote what would become Diamond Eyes. The record is mercilessly heavy, verging on metal at times, but also has some slower numbers that add depth and atmosphere to the record. Vocalist Chino Moreno keeps up with the band’s flawlessly-executed prog rock with his high-intensity screams, which can quickly morph into soft and soulful melodies. If you’re looking for a record to rock out to, Diamond Eyes is definitely a front runner this year.

Recommended track: “Rocket Skates”

Ludo – Prepare the Preparations

Few lyricists today have the incredible imagination of Ludo‘s Andrew Volpe. Anyone who needs proof need look no further than 2006′s jaw-dropping five-song rock opera, Broken Bride, which is about a man who mistakenly time travels between the Pre Historic Era and a future apocalypse to save his dead wife. Though Broken Bride is brilliant and beautifully written, it’s going to be tough for Ludo to ever top it. That being said, Prepare the Preparations is an eccentric and quirky pop record, with lyrics that cover everything from robots to dancing skeletons to leprechauns. The songwriting is creative and more experimental than in the past, as Ludo covers everything from acoustic to electronic pop to straight up showtunes.

Recommended track: “Too Tired to Wink”

Foxy Shazam – Foxy Shazam

As we learned in our Q&A with Eric Nally of Foxy Shazam, it’s very difficult to categorize this outrageous and energetic rock group….and that’s the way they like it. Pieces of punk, soul, funk and indie rock make their way into the band’s self-titled record, which dropped in April. This isn’t a record that you’ll listen to and have to wonder if the group is just as fun live, as Foxy are well known for their off-the-wall theatrical performances. They may be an acquired taste, but either way, you have to give Foxy Shazam props for being genuinely original.

Recommended track: “Count Me Out”

Isles & Glaciers-  The Hearts of Lonely People

Since Pierce the Veil and Chiodos were both on our list, it makes sense that a supergroup including PTV’s vocalist Vic Fuentes and his brother, drummer Mike Fuentes, as well as Chiodos bassist Matt Goddard would also be included. Isles & Glaciers also includes (ex-Chiodos, now D.R.U.G.S.) vocalist Craig Owens, Emarosa/Dance Gavin Dance vocalist and solo artist Jonny Craig, Underminded/D.R.U.G.S. guitarist Nick Martin and ex-Boys Night Out/The Receiving End of Sirens‘ Brian Southall on keyboard and guitar. After many months of pushing back the release, their debut EP The Hearts of Lonely People was released in 2010. Different than any of the members’ past or present bands, Hearts is a mash-up of post-hardcore, electronica and pop rock. The three vocalists here, especially Jonny Craig, really steal the show.

Recommended track: “Hills Like White Elephants”

Leave us a comment below and let us know what your favorite rock album of 2010 were…then check back next week for our list of most anticipated rock albums for 2011!

 


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